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Monday, October 19, 2009

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Supporting Mill Valley Film Festival came naturally to the Sabor of Spain restaurant owner Scott Scheidt, born and raised in Marin County and involved with the community affairs, and to Chef Jayson Valencia, not only a native here, but also a filmmaker himself. The restaurant served celebrities and the “tenth muse” lovers coming to the 32nd annual MVFF Oct.8-18, while a large part of the festival program was showing at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, just a couple blocks away. At a special foodie media dinner last Wednesday, local reporters and editors were invited to celebrate the wine and food of the event, and to experience some amazing pairings, put together by the Scheidt-Valencia creative tandem. Innovative and traditional Spanish tapas, made with the freshest California ingredients and paired with upscale wines from all imaginable Spanish-speaking countries, were eye-pleasing, and utterly enjoyable. Small-plate delicacies appeared tempting even to those picky eaters around the table who tend to “never eat ham” (or red meat, or blue cheese, or… you name it. I admit I had to wonder myself on many nights in Barcelona and Madrid how Spaniards manage to consume all that jamon and manchego, and stay seemingly cholesterol-free). A menu, constructed for the table of people who know their food, consisted of:
1. Gold beet, fennel and red onion salad with sweet sherry vinagrette - wine - Altas Cumbres Viognier 2007 Argentina.
2. Lemon infused bosc pear wrapped in jamon serrano and a basalmic reductiion - wine - Pares Balta Blanc de Pacs 2008 Spain.
3. Chicken/chorizo/ginger won tons with sweet sour pimenton dipping sauce - wine - Monte Oton Garnacha 2008 Spain.
4. Spicy marinated skirt steak with basil oil and cabrales blue cheese - wine - Terrapura Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Chile.
5. Venganza de diablo - espresso chocolate mousse with rosemary infused strawberry coulis/marscapone cream - wine - Favaios Moscatel de Duoro Portugal.
The restaurant’s warm and cozy ambience, dark wood and red/orange décor color scheme, and impeccable service rounded up the memorable experience. Sabor of Spain also has a wonderful bar; a wine club; a retail shop that carries Spanish wines and specialty foods, and holds live music and flamenco dancing events. Located at 1301 Fourth Street, San Rafael. Call for reservations 415-457-(VINO)8466 or visit Photography by Yuri Krasov.


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